HC Deb 17 June 1852 vol 122 cc899-901


  1. "1. That it is the duty of the Government to take measures to guard against the possible effects of the increasing production of the Gold Mines, upon the holders of the Public Securities.
  2. "2. That the contract with the holders of the Public Securities ought to be substantially maintained.
  3. "3. That to see a process to the contrary going on, and refuse to hinder it, is Repudiation.
  4. "4. That the contract will not be substantially maintained, if the payments to the Fundholders are allowed to dwindle to nothing through diminutions in the value of gold.
  5. "5. That the community has no interest in defrauding the Fundholders to serve the payers of the Taxes; as would be distinctly visible if every 900 man were a Fundholder in the same proportion that he is a Tax-payer.
  6. "6. That the expectation that the tax-payers are to gain, either by diminution of value of the pieces in which the taxes are to be paid, or by the annihilation of the payments for the Debt, is nugatory; because there is no Chancellor of the Exchequer who would not make either of these a ground for increasing the taxation and expenditure to correspond.
  7. "7. That the endeavour to persuade the Industrious Classes that they would be the better for having more gold under a corresponding diminution of its value, is an affront to their intelligence.
  8. "8. That a continual diminution in the value of the current money, is opposed to the just interest of the classes who live by wages; because it would keep them in a perpetual struggle for an increase of Money Wages, in which they are sure to lose and not to gain.
  9. "9. That for a like reason it is opposed to the just interest of the owners of rent, or so many as are free from mortgages; because it would keep them in a perpetual struggle for an increase of Money Rents, in which they are sure to lose and not to gain, to say nothing of the unpleasantness of the contest.
  10. "10. That the allegation that the Fundholders have been overpaid in consequence of what is denominated Peel's Bill, is a misstatement dependent upon reckoning all who have been overpaid, and taking no account of all who have been underpaid; the truth being, that on taking both together, there is on the lowest estimate a balance of eight millions and a half which, on an equitable adjustment, would be due to the Fund-holders.
  11. "11. That if the discovery of new Gold Mines should go on, it will lead to a diminution in the value of the precious metals, like that which occurred in the reign of Elizabeth and periods subsequent, in consequence of the discovery of America.
  12. "12. That it is no argument against the imminence of this result, that commercial men show no symptoms of alarm. Because, to the general operations of commerce it is indifferent whether gold is dear or cheap; for the simple reason that every man pays it away at the same rate that he receives, and vice versa.
  13. "13. That the derangement which, from such a cause, would be made in the property of the Fundholders and all old Creditors and Mortgagees, ought to be prevented by the means which, so far as applied, were effectual in the time of Elizabeth, namely, by application of the principle of a Corn Rent.
  14. "14. That the application of that principle would be effected, and comparative steadiness in the value of Money obtained, by the issue of a Bank of England Paper, containing no promise to pay, but issuable only to such amounts as should be from time to time directed by Act of Parliament, on evidence produced that the price of wheat had, for the average of a certain period, been below shillings per quarter; any contravention of such Acts, in respect of issuing more than therein directed, to be dealt with as in cases of forgery; the amount of such authorized issues to be debited to the Exchequer, and applied to the Consolidated Fund.
  15. "15. That the efficiency of such an inconverti- 901 ble public Paper is evidenced by the experiment of 1797, when the Paper of the Bank of England, though payment was refused, maintained its value, without depreciation, except what was the necessary consequence of the premeditated overissues.
  16. "16, That the belief in the necessity of the community's providing and paying for twenty-one millions of Gold to be kept in cellars, is a superstition of the same nature as if a manufacturer in Manchester, or a merchant in Liverpool, should think he could not maintain his credit without a similar precaution.
  17. "17. That in any community the collection of a treasure of this kind is impolitic and dangerous, as holding out temptation to invasions from abroad, and to coups d'etat at home.
  18. "18. That in a settled and civilized community, there is no more necessity for the instrument of exchange to be framed of materials equal in value to the amount concerned, than for a bond or other obligation to be traced upon a plate of gold of the value of the amount at issue.
  19. "19. That such a Bank of England Paper as proposed, might be issued gradually, and the present notes withdrawn; thereby preventing the dangers of sudden change.
  20. "20. That nothing herein contained, would have any tendency to check the trade in gold. The gold-finders will always obtain for their gold the substantial return which the markets admit; and no art of man will give them more.
  21. "21. That it is expedient to attend to the Question before any public excitement is raised by current events."
At that hour of the morning, the House would not consider it disrespectful, if he simply moved the Resolutions which were on the paper. He would only take leave to add, that the grounds of the statement in the 10th Resolution on the balance which would be duo to the Fundholders, were to be found in Mushet's Tables, corrected by the Tables of Mr. John Childs, which last were in the Westminster Review for April, 1833, Article on "Equitable Adjustment," with addition of a Postscript at the end of the same Number.

Question put, and negatived.